The overseer watches. His goal; make sure you do what your supposed to do. Rigid and demanding they pay little mind to anything other than the task. Overseer’s rarely add value to the effort. Their job is to make sure it gets done. They, as the name suggests, oversee. Overseers don’t participate in solving problems. As they see it’s not their job to fix or solve problems. It’s their job to make sure you get it done. Overseers bark orders, reprimand when results aren’t met and fire those who just can’t get with the program. Overseers report numbers and react to numbers. They don’t understand what’s driving them, nor do they care. The number is the number and either they are being met or they are not. Despite their own sense of self-importance, overseers bring very little value.
Sales has more overseers than any other profession. It’s easy to be an overseer in sales. To an overseer you’re making your number or not. Those that make their numbers stay, those that don’t . . . well don’t.
You have a sales guy who finishes at 85% of quota, in a market that has declined by 30%. You have another sales guy who finishes at 130% of quota in a market that is growing at 200%. Who has done a more impressive job?
The overseer sees the guy at 130% of quota as his man, because he made his number. But is that accurate? Who do you see as the more valuable sales guy.
Getting productivity and meeting goals takes more than an overseer. It takes leadership and engagement. It takes involvement. Overseers don’t get involved. In their world there is a clear line between him and the doers.
I’ve been hearing a lot lately that the pressure of today’s sales environments is creating a lot of overseers. I find that to be unfortunate. Tough sales environments, more than ever, need leadership not overseers.
To break a sales decline takes engagement and involvement. It’s more important than ever to understand what is impacting sales, why customers are struggling, what the market drivers are, how your products are positioned, what your customers are looking for, how your team is positioning your company and more. Tough times make overseers, when the should be creating leaders.